Meet the Milliner: the artist behind a growing Cancer Lifeline Breakfast tradition!

Kelly Christy has created hats for clients across the globe. Since 2015 she has graciously shared her one-of-a-kind works of arts with “Breakfast with Friends” at the Writing for the Moment tables. Facilitator Peggy Sturdivant was already a Christy Kelly admirer and longtime Table Captain when inspiration struck, how better to encourage potential guests than with cocktail hats? She also knew that Kelly had recently lost a sister, Kari Anne, to cancer, and that the event would be healing for her.
In a family of seven siblings, Kari Anne was the baby sister to all. She had lived with metastasized melanoma for nearly 15 years. The family had all gathered in Chicago for her 50th birthday. At the first Cancer Lifeline appearance of her amazing millinery line, the loss was still quite raw. However being among friends, and using her magic to match the ideal hat to the person was uplifting then, and in subsequent years, for Kelly, and for those lucky enough to be coiffed by her.
Kelly Christy brings mainly her cocktail hats (such as Purple Extravaganza, Frenchie in Cognac, Fluff & Dagger) for the event but has been working on a new line of soft pattern hats for winter and bigger straw hats for the summer. At the 2018 Breakfast, one woman bought the hat off her head. She had not seen herself in it but could see the sheer delight in the eyes of those at her table. Peggy Sturdivant, Barbara Chilcote, and fellow writer and Board Member Tracy Peltier never have any trouble filling their tables: their secret sauce is the generosity of Kelly Christy, sharing her creations for the event. For those who want to be so lucky year-round, the handcrafted collection is available at
For more information about Breakfast with Friends, click here.